Cop Land 1997

Cop Land

Critics Consensus

Cop Land matches its star-studded cast with richly imagined characters while throttling the audience with carefully ratcheted suspense, although it lacks the moral complexity of classic crime thrillers.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 65

67%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 51,300

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Movie Info

When hotheaded Superboy (Michael Rapaport) accidentally gets involved in an ugly racially-motivated incident, his uncle Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel), a corrupt New York City cop, attempts to sweep it under the rug by helping fake his nephew's death. The bungled cover-up leads to investigations by idealistic Internal Affairs officer Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro) and Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone), sheriff of the suburban New Jersey town where Donlan and his fellow crooked policemen live.

Cast & Crew

Sylvester Stallone
Sheriff Freddy Heflin
Ray Liotta
Gary "Figgsy" Figgis
Robert De Niro
Lt. Moe Tilden
Peter Berg
Joey Randone
Janeane Garofalo
Deputy Cindy Betts
Michael Rapaport
Murray "Superboy" Babitch
Noah Emmerich
Deputy Bill Geisler
Meryl Poster
Executive Producer
Bob Weinstein
Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein
Executive Producer
Howard Shore
Original Music
Craig McKay
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Cop Land

Critic Reviews for Cop Land

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (16)

  • Mangold certainly knew what he was doing when he cast Keitel and De Niro.

    April 9, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Cop Land shares its leading man's slow-wittedness, but also his likability.

    April 9, 2008

    David Edelstein

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • Mangold is something of a pseudo-Scorsese.

    April 9, 2008 | Full Review…

    Jack Kroll

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • It's pretty funny, actually, that Stallone gained 40 pounds to play this role, and what the movie needs more than anything else is to eat a salad and do some sit-ups.

    April 9, 2008 | Full Review…

    Paul Tatara

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • Although too simplistic in its good-guys/bad-guys approach to morally and emotionally ambiguous material, Cop Land emerges as an absorbing and dramatic yarn about exposing the evil doings of some of New York's finest.

    April 9, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • A solidly entertaining drama that stays true to the independent spirit of its filmmakers

    April 9, 2008
    Hollywood Reporter
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cop Land

  • Sep 11, 2018
    Weird that it took me so long to watch given the cast. Look, Cop Land isn't the best movie in the filmography of anybody involved, but it was a worthwhile watch, and a nice way to break up the crap horror we've been on a bender of lately.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 29, 2015
    "Being right is not a bullet proof vest, Freddy" The problem with Cop Land, is that it's full of cops. Well there is that, but in all seriousness, for any fan of the crime genre they will find there are two things that are unavoidable when looking over the cast of the film. One, is legendary director Martin Scorsese and the regulars that feature in his work: There is, of course, DeNiro and Keitel (who need no introduction) but there's also Liotta (Goodfellas), Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull) and Frank Vincent who appears in both the latter two (as well as Casino). Vincent also brings me to the other unavoidable thing... the finest television series on the subject; The Sopranos. By my count, there's no less than ten cast members that are recognisable throughout six seasons and those well versed will notice; Carmela, Paulie, Arty Buco and Vincent's Phil Leotardo, among others. The New Jersey town of Garrison is populated by cops from the NYPD who have set up their own community to live in peace. As intended, it's a community that doesn't need policing but still employs local Sheriff, Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) to oversee things. Freddy always wanted to join the police force but was prevented from doing so because of a childhood accident that left him partially deaf. However, when Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel) and his corrupt activities begin to surface it brings it to the attention of Internal Affairs Agent Moe Tilden (Robert DeNiro) who may just have the policeman's job opportunity that Freddy has coveted. Narratively, the film starts very strongly and draws you into the murky depths of police corruption and cops ruling cops. Director James Mangold also seems to know what he's doing; he builds the tension slowly and assuredly and introduces his characters at precise moments. It's not long before we realise Keitel is one of the shady one's and firmly in control of his environment. Stallone also happens to establish himself quickly by playing firmly against type. The whole premise of the film is built around Sly and the, seeming inability, to do the job he's been denominated for. It's quite a distance from most of his action-hero work but it's the supporting roles of a strung out Liotta and doggedly determined DeNiro that really bring shape to the whole corrupt debacle. All of the supporting players are brilliantly placed but it's, unsurprisingly, the aforementioned four actors that drive the film. Liotta, Keitel and DeNiro deliver the high calibre expected from them but the biggest surprise is Stallone. He's wise enough to sit back and let the heavyweights chew the scenery while he subtly underplays it and brings a touching vulnerability to his afflicted Sheriff. With an abundance of talent on display you might ask why Cop Land doesn't entirely work? Quite simply, it's a generic and formulaic story. The leads do what they can - and they all get their moment to shine - but the lack of three dimensional characterisation and some redundant plot strands only allow them to go so far. However, despite Mangold's inability to come up with a solid script, his handling of events and a who's-who cast are very diligently attuned. It's also worth noting that the denouement is impressively intense in a High-Noon homage with Mangold, very skilfully, utilising Freddie's hearing impairment to the utmost effect and manages to turn, what would normally be considered a Hollywood hokum get-out, into a refreshing and satisfying showdown. Alas, Cop Land is not the sum of it's parts. It had the potential to be a classic but ends up just another attempt at a genre that so many have covered to better results. That said, it's hard to argue with the cast and the solid performances but because it's easy to see the potential this film had, it makes it all the more frustrating that it doesn't quite achieve it. It's good, but it could've been great. As it goes, the problem with Cop Land is that it's not full of cops, the problem with Cop Land is that's it's full of quality actors working under restrained and clichéd material. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2014
    Stallone changes the pace from his all out action films and tries something different, The plot is nothing new with crooked cops killing each other off but has a few twists, Stallone puts in his best acting performance of the 90's And gained allot of weight to play this role, His performance in this film isn't recognised enough, Don't watch if you're expecting an action packed film, It has a great story and some good acting and was very gripping.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2014
    Impressive action drama that has gotten an unfair reputation, Cop Land features an ensemble cast lead by Sylvester Stallone in one of his finest roles since the 80's. This a highly entertaining cop movie, and I must admit, I was skeptical about seeing it at first, but I was surprised at how good it turned out. There are parts in the film that good have been reworked, just make it a bit more fleshed out in terms of story. As it is, it's a good story, but it could have been done a bit better as well. Now, that doesn't make Cop Land a movie, but it does leave you wanting a highly memorable picture. Cop Land has an ambitious scope for a storyline, and it does work for the most part, but at times it doesn't unleash its full potential of what it could have been. Luckily the great cast of varied talent more than makes up for the films shortcomings and there is enough intrigue to keep you involved from start to finish. Director James Mangold directs this action drama, and he manages to pull something quite good here, and Cop Land is a film that though could have been better, isn't as bad as you might think. Overall, this is an entertaining thrill ride with a great cast, but like I said, at times it could have been better. Nonetheless, this is worth watching, and this film features of Sly's best performances. If you're looking for a well layered and engaging picture, Cop Land is a worthy film to watch. With a cast like this, it more than makes up for its few weak moments, and you can easily enjoy a feature film that has enough action, thrills and entertainment to keep you on the edge of seat till the very end.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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